Tag Archives: Buildings
Sharp has announced that it is launching semi-transparent solar panels designed for balcony railings in apartment blocks. The semi-transparent black solar panels are 1.4 metres wide by 1 metre tall and just 7.6 millimetres thick. They have an efficiency of about 6.8% with a maximum output of 95 watts. While this conversion rate is relatively low, other commercially available panels have not been designed for this appication. As well as providing solar power, the panels act as a heat shield and create a privacy screen when viewed from a distance.
The Center for Architecture, Science and Ecology in New York has come up with a building exterior that not only helps the interior comfortable but purifies water. The exterior surface of the building is clad in modular glass blocks which are configured to capture, refocus and intensify sunlight. Greywater from sinks, showers and hand washing flows through channels in the glass blocks. Inside the building, the blocks create a diffused daylight which eliminates solar heat gain and keeps rooms cooler. This reduces the need for high-energy heating and cooling mechanisms as well as being easier on the eyes. The glass … Continue Reading
A study lead by Columbia University scientist, Stuart Gaffin, with the assistance of NASA, has found that white roof coating reduced peak rooftop temperatures New York in summer by an average of 23.6 C°. The study looked at how different white roofing materials performed “in the field” over multiple years. The study tested three different white materials which all produced similar results. The lowest cost material tested, "an asphaltic multi-ply built-up membrane coated with white elastomeric acrylic paint" (that is, white paint on a typical roof surface), is being promoted by New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, as part of a … Continue Reading
The Japanese company, TIS & Partners, has developed a construction material called CO2 Structure, which is claims hardens quickly, delivers 2.5 times the tensile strength of concrete, is made from cheap materials and sequesters carbon dioxide. High silicon content sand is put into an air tight mould that can be virtually any shape. CO2 is pumped into the mould and bonds with the silica to make a solid material, as hard as a brick, in less than a minute. However, while this material is very strong under lateral loads it crumbles under tensile pressure. The company then bathes the bricks … Continue Reading
One of the biggest challenges for architects and developers wanting to integrate solar power generation with building materials is aesthetics. Many building-integrated solar technologies are also somewhat inefficient, which means that large parts of a building have to be covered with solar energy-gathering materials to get significant benefits. The Center for Architecture and Science, which is a research and development collaboration between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and architecture and engineering companies, including the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, thinks that its "Dynamic Solar Facade" can overcome these challenges. The Dynamic Solar Facade is a glass frontage with rows of transparent, … Continue Reading
The Mayor of Lomdon has launched a "Green Theatre Initiative", saying that that “the power of the theatre industry to set an example in the fight against climate change is immense”. The Plan highlights a number of benefits to going green, firstly by allowing theatres to lead the way by “showing our audiences and other theatre industries what is possible.” It points out the energy and money that can be saved, noting that a simple step such as ensuring that stage lights are only turned on half an hour before a performance would collectively save London theatres £100,000 a year in energy … Continue Reading
Conventional Portland cement is mostly composed of calcium silicates. Its production requires heating limestone and other ingredients to 1,450 degrees C, usually by burning fossil fuels. Making one ton of cement results in the emission of roughly one ton of CO2 – and in some cases much more. Stanford Professor, Brent Constantz, has invented a new type of cement that is not only carbon neutral but sequesters carbon dioxide. The details of the process are secret but, in essence, it mimics "marine cement", which is produced by coral when making their shells and reefs, taking the calcium and magnesium in … Continue Reading
The Beijing Olympic Village is now home to one of the world’s first photovoltaic/thermal hybrid building systems. Mounted on the roof of one of the central buildings, which will be a service centre for athletes during the Olympics, the system produces both electricity and heat energy from the same surface area, generating 200-300 per cent more energy than a conventional photovoltaic system. It combines air heating technology with photovoltaics to create a total energy solution in which the payback period is reduced and the CO2 displacement is maximized. The panels also act as a racking system to the photovoltaic modules; … Continue Reading
American roofing company, Lumeta, has developed a stick-on solar panel technology which it says halves the labour needed for installations compared with conventional rack-mounted panels. The panels peak power generation is 380 watts in a typical installation.
A new apartment block designed planned to be built "soon" in Dubai will use the wind to generate ten times as much power as it uses. The building, which has been designed by designed by Dynamic Architecture will have 48 floors, each being a single apartment which can be rotated independently.. According to Dynamic Architecture, "The building, which will be constantly in motion changing its shape, will be able to generate electric energy for itself as well as for other buildings. Forty-eight wind turbines fitted between each rotating floors as well as the solar panels positioned on the roof of … Continue Reading